BenQ UK has announced a trio of new 4K projectors with powerful brightness specs to serve a range of environments – everything from pitch-black dedicated home theaters to well-lit living rooms. As a bonus, the new models support the HDR10+ high dynamic range format, which is a rare feature to find in a projector.
The best 4K projectors serve up cinema-size images from either a high shelf or ceiling mount at the back of the room or from a coffee table in front of your sofa. BenQ’s new models are designed to handle both setups, though there are differences that make each model more ideally suited for a specific application.
With its 3,200 ANSI Lumens brightness and HDR-PRO technology, BenQ’s new W4000i (£2,999 / around $3,750 / AU$5,600) is positioned for dark home cinema rooms where getting powerful contrast from movies with HDR is the main objective. HDR-PRO supports HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range formats, and it features a Local Contrast Enhancement algorithm that can divide images into over 1000 zones and independently optimize gamma for each one. The W4000i uses a 4 LED light engine and BenQ’s specs for it cite 100% DCI-P3 color space coverage.
The W2710i (£1,699.00 / around $2,120 / AU$3,175) is an affordable projector that’s also designed for dark room viewing. With 2200 ANSI Lumens, it’s not as bright as the W4000i, but has the same HDR-PRO feature to enhance high dynamic range images. DCI-P3 color space coverage is 95% according to BenQ’s specs.
Designed for viewing in bright rooms, the TK860i (£1,699.00 / around $2,120 / AU$3,175) offers 3,300 ANSI Lumens light output along with HDR-PRO. This model appears to be the best option for gaming or for casual TV viewing where high brightness is the main concern, and it also features a built-in 20W treVolo speaker system that should provide much better-than-average sound quality than what projectors typically deliver.
Opinion: HDR10+ is a plus for projectors
While we have yet to see Dolby Vision HDR in a projector outside of ultra-short throw models from Formovie and Hisense, some long throw models like the JVC DLA-NZ8 offer HDR10+ support. This Dolby Vision competitor isn’t as commonly used for movies and TV, but it can be found on select 4K Blu-ray discs and certain titles on the best streaming services, specifically Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Paramount Plus.
The reason why a dynamic HDR format like HDR10+ is a boon for projectors is that they generally have limited peak light output compared to the best 4K TVs. And while the brightness specs for BenQ’s new models are impressive, they are still likely to lack the same level of visual punch as you’d get from one of the top mini-LED TVs, or even the latest flagship OLED TVs when viewing programs with HDR.
With its local-dimming-like capabilities, BenQ’s HDR-PRO feature appears designed to help make the most of all manner of HDR-enhanced content, not just HDR10+. Another feature found on the W4000i is built-in Android TV with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and more apps for streaming. It’s unclear from BenQ’s announcement whether streaming on the other two models is built-in or via an external dongle, but both appear to have an Android TV option.
We haven’t yet received a press release for similar models in the US, but BenQ’s top two new projectors appear to coincide with the HT4550i and HT3560 listed on the US website, which also lists the TK860i. US pricing and availability haven’t yet been announced, though we expect that information will be made available in the very near future.
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Al Griffin has been writing about and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was previously the editor of Sound & Vision magazine.
When not reviewing the latest and greatest gear or watching movies at home, he can usually be found out and about on a bike.